The following self-help techniques can help reduce the bladder urges and thereby allow you to delay longer between visits to the toilet or to allow you to make it to the toilet without having an accident.
Different things work for different people, try them out and see what works for you. It is a good idea to have 2 or 3 strategies that you can choose from depending on your situation when you feel the urge. For example: some strategies work better if you are standing, whilst others are better sitting.
Often when you first feel an urge to pass urine, the tendency is to hold your breath. Try to keep breathing using gentle diaphragmatic breathing and focus on breath out. This will relax your stomach muscles (so they do not squash your bladder).
Pelvic Floor Bracing:
Try squeezing and lifting your pelvic floor muscles to support the bladder and stop the urine leaking out. Remember to squeeze around the back passage as if stopping wind as well as around th front passage.
Always do the relaxed breathing and pelvic floor bracing first. If they are not enough to reduce the urge sufficiently – try all of the following:
- Distract Yourself
Do wathever you can to take your mind off your bladder.
- Calf Stretch
In standing or sitting – place a foot slightly forward and pull the toes up towards your nose. You should feel a decent stretchdown the back of the calf.
- Toe Curling
Curl your toes downwards as strongly as possible.
- Ankle Pressure
This can be done in sitting or standing. Cross your legs at the ankle and queeze the two legs together. You should feel a firm pressure against the back of your ankle/lower calf.
- Sacral Rub
Make a fist and rub the baske of the spine or sacral area.
- Upper Lip Pressure
Press the length of your index finger along your upper lip i.e. between your top lip and your nose (as if you are deep in thought).
- Suck Thumbin Ballet 1st
Stand with your feet in “Ballet first” i.e. heels together, toes facing outwards. Then press the tip of your thumb into the roof of your mouth ) just behind your front teeth) and suck.You should find that this creates a very strong pelvic floor contraction this can ber used in conjunction with the upper lip pressure.
- Heel Raises
In standing go up and down onto your toes, lifting your heels several times until urge subsides.
- Perineal Pressure
Sit on one leg stucked under you so that your heel presses into your perineum i.e. the space between the vagina/scrotum and anus. This can also be useful if you are kneeling on the floor.
Remember to distract yourself or focus on the deeling created by the strategy not the urge. If you keep thinking about the urge it will only get stronger!